Shortcuts for marine conservation planning: the effectiveness of socioeconomic data surrogates

Weeks, Rebecca, Russ, Garry R., Bucol, Abner A., and Alcala, Angel C. (2010) Shortcuts for marine conservation planning: the effectiveness of socioeconomic data surrogates. Biological Conservation, 143 (5). pp. 1236-1244.

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Abstract

Marine protected area (MPA) networks designed without consideration of the interests of local communities are likely to fail. However, in many regions where conservation action is needed most urgently, socioeconomic data are not available at spatial scales relevant to conservation planning. In the Philippines, the primary stakeholders relevant to conservation efforts in coastal waters are small-scale fishers. Unlike commercial fisheries, no logbook data are kept to record fishers’ spatial effort and usage patterns. We investigated the effects of including different surrogates for small-scale fishing effort in the systematic design of an MPA network for Siquijor Province. We compared a reserve selection scenario in which socioeconomic data were not considered with four different surrogates for fishing effort and with empirical data on the spatial distribution of fishing effort collected through interviews. We assumed that minimising opportunity costs to fishers would increase the likelihood that they would support and comply with MPA implementation, resulting in more effective conservation. Surrogates modelled on the number of fishers or boats in each community consistently outperformed those based on population census data. However, none of the surrogates we tested were able to accurately predict fine-scale resource use patterns. Whilst socioeconomic surrogates may be able to assist conservation planners to identify regional-scale opportunities where conservation objectives may be met more easily, they cannot act as a shortcut for comprehensive consultation with communities, which will be required to identify actual sites for MPA implementation.

Item ID: 16938
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: conservation planning; marine protected areas; fisheries socioeconomic cost; surrogates; Philippines
ISSN: 1873-2917
Date Deposited: 12 May 2011 06:23
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 50%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070499 Fisheries Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8302 Fisheries - Wild Caught > 830204 Wild Caught Fin Fish (excl. Tuna) @ 40%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 60%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 2
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